Our community is developing a real passion around building the pipeline of entrepreneurs in the Triangle, and the many summer and year-round camp and program offerings for kids of all ages are proof. If your kids are already curious about coding and science or you want to introduce them to these and other entrepreneurial skills, these programs might be a good fit.

For our third installment of this list, we’ve organized the programs by the age groups they target, with those open to a wider set of ages at the bottom. We used last year’s list along with our own research to find as many opportunities as we could, but if we miss one, please email laura@exitevent.com with the details.

Our final ask is that you share this list with fellow parents, as well as any kids interested in a creative, hands-on summer.


Where: NC State campus
When: Annually for a week in May (May 13-17 in 2017)
About: SATELLITE is a non-profit organization run by students from NC State. It is designed to introduce students from rural North Carolina high schools to science and technology related educational and career paths through a five-day retreat.
Ages: High school

SciVentures Program, Carolina Center for Educational Excellence
Where: Morehead Planetarium and Science Center in Chapel Hill
When: Various weeks throughout the summer
About: There are different programs for parents to choose from for their children, primarily focused on the various occupations in engineering. The tracks, all under the program title “SciVentures,” include Plant Life, Colonizing Mars and Field Station.
Ages: 6th-8th grade
Cost: $450 for full-day, one-week SciVentures program

iD Tech Camps
Where: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
When: Weeklong programs all summer
About: More than 20 camps run many weeks throughout the summer, providing instruction on topics like Adventures in Game Design, 3D Printing with Autodesk and Dremel, Video Production for YouTube, Java and C++ Coding, and DIY: Build Your Own Laptop & Code with Python. Instruction is personalized to the student and project-based, provided by students and graduates of top universities around the nation.
Ages: 7-18
Cost: Day Camp: ~$900 Overnight: ~$1,500

Blackspace: BLK AGST, Black Liberation Youth Cypher
Where: Downtown Durham
When: August (see details on this calendar, and keep an eye out for updates on the 2017 event)
About: BLK AGST is an annual, two-­week Pan-African digital media “WokeShop,” where kids can explore social entrepreneurship and digital arts as vehicles of political change in the black community. It’s run by Durham’s Blackspace, which is a resource for kids to come and learn different ways to express themselves creatively, through workshops covering beat-making, computer graphics, videography, radio, spoken word and puppetry—all with a particular focus on STEM +arts.
Ages: Any
Cost: Free

Summer Camps at Wake Tech
Where: Wake Tech Community College Main Campus, Northern and Western Wake Campuses, NCSU Centennial Campus, Public Safety Education Campus and Beltline Education Center
When: Week and half week-long camps from June 12 to August 9
About: More than a dozen camps including topics like Digital Videography, Video Game Design, 3D Animation for Video Games, Engineering Technology, Raspberry Pi 3 Technology Camp, Basics of Biotech, Drones and Robotics Exploration.
Ages: 11-17
Cost: Varies (most camps are $200)

Triangle TechGirlz
Where: Various locations
When: Monthly workshops covering a new topic each time (Next is April 27 and focused on newsroom story production, with an emphasis on mobile photo and video content)
About: A Philadelphia-headquartered organization that introduces tween girls to a variety of technology skills and careers through interactive workshops like Cognitive Thinking and Podcasting, Logic and Programming, Designing a Website, Virtual Reality, Designing Mobile Apps and Intro to HTML/CSS. The mission is to get girls interested in technology careers before ninth grade, the year many decide technology is not for them. Here’s an ExitEvent story from when the Triangle chapter began in 2014.
Ages: 10-13
Cost: Free

CoderDojo Durham
Where: The Iron Yard’s Durham campus
When: One Saturday per month.
About: A volunteer-led community programming club for young people to learn how to code, develop websites, apps, programs and games alongside one another in a social setting. Hosted by The Iron Yard coding school.
Ages: 7-17
Cost: Free

Wake NC State STEM Early College High School
Where: 715 Barbour Dr. Raleigh NC, 27603
When: Traditional school year schedule
About: The Wake NC State STEM Early College High School is a joint project between the Wake County Public School System, NC State University and the NC New Schools Project. Early college means students take college courses at NCSU as well as the courses required to earn a high school diploma over a five year period. But classes at this high school all involve elements of science, technology, engineering and math, and the curriculum encourages students to take on 14 Grand Challenges for Engineering, including making solar energy economical, providing access to clean water, improving urban infrastructure, securing cyberspace and enhancing virtual reality.
How to Apply: Applications for the 2017-2018 have closed. For next year’s application dates, visit the website.

Research Triangle High School
Where: 10 Park Dr., Research Triangle Park, NC
When: Traditional school year schedule
About: An independent public charter school with the mission to increase access to globally competitive science, technology, engineering, and math education for students and teachers and by incubating, proving and scaling innovative models of teaching and learning.
Ages: 14-18

Youth Digital—Camps in App Design, 3D Game Design, 3D Animation, Mod Design
Where: Seven different locations across the Triangle, including the company’s Chapel Hill headquarters
When: Almost every week throughout the summer, locations vary.
About: Youth Digital teaches kids coding, technology and design skills using software programs that are “stepping stones” to professional tools. Youth Digital is best known nationally for its online courses, but those are based on its in-person camps and programs, as well as an After School program during the school year.
Cost: ~$330-400 for summer camps
Ages: 8-15

Duke School Summer Camps
Where: 3716 Erwin Road, Durham, NC
When: Various weeks throughout the summer
About: Learning sessions around technology and gaming are offered through a summer program at Duke School, which is a private independent educational facility for preschool to 8th grade. It started in 1947 as a lab for students in Duke University’s departments of psychology and education, but a group of parents eventually spun it off into the non-profit organization it is today.
Ages: 8-15
Cost: ~$320-410

NCSSM Summer Programs
Where: North Carolina School of Science & Math
When: Throughout the summer
About: There are two programs, the Early Accelerator and the Accelerator program, participation in which is based on age. Participants experience hands-on learning in STEM topics, ranging from physics, chemistry and biology, to forensics and investigative science, to robotics and engineering. There is an online element for the Accelerator program, and the programs last a week.
Ages: 7th-12th graders
Cost: Early Accelerator is $1,495, with a $1,320 day-only option. Accelerator is $1,925, with a $1,750 day-only option.

Summer Youth Business & Entrepreneurship Academy
Where: North Carolina Central University, Chidley Residential Facility and School of Business
When: June 17 to June 25
About: A two-week residential academy with lectures, corporate visits and a business plan competition judged by local entrepreneurs.
Ages: Enrolled (in Fall 2017) in high school as a 10th, 11th or 12th grader, 3.0 or above and extracurricular activities
Cost: Free (full scholarship covers the cost of attendance, plus room and board)

Robotic Camp Cary
Where: Cary, NC
When: Two weeks in June, one week in early August
About: This is a family-owned and operated summer camp where kids get to work in teams and design, build and program their own LEGO robots. The owners model the camp after the national First Lego League Team experience, and host a mini-competition with the finished robots on the last day of camp for friends and family.
Ages: 10-13
Cost: $149 prior to May 1, $169 by June 1, and $199 after


Camp Invention
Where: Various locations throughout the Triangle
When: Weeks throughout the summer, just depends on location
About: Local educators lead a week of hands-on activities created for elementary students. Lessons explore connections between science, technology, engineering, and innovation. Each year, Camp Invention changes its curriculum to a new theme—2017 introduces a program called “Launch” where kids get to engineer existing tools to serve new functions, like making designs and products based on duct tape or create a mock-up planet modeled to sustain human life.
Ages: K-6th grade
Cost: Varies by location

Lego-Inspired Summer Camps
Where: All over the Triangle area (see map for specific locations near you)
When: Multiple weeks all summer
About: Using LEGOs, participants will go through various programs teaching engineering concepts to children.
Ages: K-8th grade
Cost: Varies

The Iron Yard Kids Classes
Where: Campuses in Durham (on the American Tobacco Campus) and Raleigh ((213 Fayetteville St.)
When: Sign up for the Raleigh-Durham mailing list to learn of upcoming classes.
About: Introductory coding classes for kids, based on Scratch, HTML or CSS.
Ages: All ages, but children under 13 must be accompanied by an adult
Cost: Free

Engineering for Kids Summer Camp
Where: Morrisville, NC
When: Various weeks throughout the summer
About: These summer camps are designed to help walk kids through various engineering occupations. Each week follows a special theme such as “Out of this World,” focusing on engineering in space, or “Da’Vinci’s Designs,” tackling “ancient” problems with mobile bridges and siege machines.
Ages: 7-12
Cost: Current special rate is $223 for full day and $145 for half day/week (regular price is $298 full day and $175 half day/week)

Robotic Camp Cary, Jr. Version
Where: Cary
When: Two weeks in June, one week in early August
About: This is a family-owned and operated summer camp where kids get to work in teams and design, build and program their own LEGO robots. The owners model the camp after the national First Lego League Team experience, and host a mini-competition with the finished robots on the last day of camp for friends and family.
Ages: 7-9
Cost: $149 prior to May 1, $169 by June 1, and $199 after


Morehead Planetarium Summer Science Camps
Where: Chapel Hill, NC
When: Every week all summer
About: Science is an adventure—an amazing opportunity to explore the world around us. Children naturally love to explore our world, and Summer Science Camps at Morehead Planetarium and Science Center are the perfect way to encourage your child’s curiosity and intellectual growth in a fun, nurturing environment. Participants will explore dinosaurs, aquatic life, and there is even a Magic Tree House-themed program.
Ages: K-8th grade
Cost: $160/program

Robotics Weekend(s)
Where: American Robotics Academy in Morrisville
When: Either Saturday or Sunday weekly, starting July 1
About: A weekend program (with a choice of Saturday or Sunday) where kids get three hours full of hands-on robotics learning, from basic to advanced robotics engineering concepts.
Ages: K-8th grade
Cost: $300

Black Girls Code
Where: TBD
When: Sporadically
About: This national organization has a local chapter that plans regular workshops and events targeted to young black girls. The chapter recently held a viewing of Hidden Figures, a robot expo and a workshop entitled “Build a Mobile App in a Day”. It typically partners with corporations or universities to host and plan events. New ones are announced via a newsletter and the BGC website.
Ages: 10-17
Cost: Varies based on event

Splat Space
Where: 800 N. Mangum Street, Durham, NC
When: Open 24/7 for members but weekly meetups happen Tuesdays at 7:00pm
About: Previously known as Durham Makerspace, Splat Space is a nonprofit and member-funded hackerspace in Downtown Durham. Crafters, engineers, mad scientists, artists, programmers, tinkerers, and makers of all kinds are welcomed to join the organization and use the space to work on personal hobbies or projects or to collaborate with others. Members get access to workshops and classes, from crocheting to basic circuitry.
Ages: All ages
Cost: Full Membership: $50/month, Student Membership: $35/month, Associate Membership: $20/month

Institute for Mathematics and Computer Science
Where: Trinity Academy in North Raleigh, Christ UMC in Chapel Hill, Triangle Day School in Durham and Cary Academy
When: Days and times depend on location
About: After-school, weekend & summer camp programs include Math Enrichment, Computer Programming & Virtual Robotics, Electronics, University-Level Computer Science (for high school students), and University-level Logic for Mathematics (for high school students). These programs are for high-achieving kids or those interested in developing skills in computer science or technology before college. There are summer camp opportunities for all ages as well.
Admission Process: 1 hour placement class provided by IMACS
Ages: Grades 1-12
Cost: Varies based on program

US2020 RTP
Where: The Frontier at Research Triangle Park and various locations around the Triangle
When: Set by partner organizations
About: A mentorship organization that pairs STEM professionals with underrepresented minority, girls and low-income students in Durham and Wake counties. The organization partners with nonprofits, schools and universities to match mentors with students. A list of partners is located on the website, but you can also become a US2020 member to find mentorship opportunities near you.
Ages: K-16
Cost: Free

The Forge Initiative
Where: The Forge Downtown, 220 West Chatham St. in downtown Cary
When: Year-round programming and week-long camps in July and August
About: While learning new technologies and engineering skills, young people involved in The Forge develop leadership, collaboration, communication, team-building and public speaking skills. At a space in downtown Cary, adult and parent volunteers work with students to build robots, 3D printers and play with Makey Makeys and other tools. There are robotics camps, competitive robotics teams and other workshops for youth and families. For context, here’s our story on The Forge.
Ages: K-12 with adult/parent volunteers

NC Science Festival
Where: Events are held in nearly every North Carolina county. There are also statewide engineering competitions.
When: Annually over two weeks in April (April 7-23 in 2017)
About: This annual event series showcases science and technology to students in North Carolina. It was the first festival of its kind in the U.S. when it was founded in 2010 by a pair of science educators at UNC’s Morehead Planetarium. Part of the festival is the Carolina STEM Challenge, in which middle and high school students use engineering kits to design, build and test a device and then compete against other teams. Another element is the NC Gravity Games, in which teams compete to develop the fastest and coolest car.
Ages: K-18

theCoder School Cary
Where: 201 Davis Grove Circle, Cary, NC 27519
When: Track out camps, weekly workshops and summer camps
About: A popular Silicon Valley kids coding program is coming to Cary this year, with track out camps, evening workshops and summer camps covering topics like drones, tinkering with the Raspberry Pi, game development, Python and HTML/CSS. Summer camps cost $274 a week and track outs, $299 weekly.
Ages: 8+

Kramden Institute
Where: Chavis Center or NC State in Raleigh, ReCity or Kramden’s offices in Durham
When: Several weeks in the spring, summer and fall depending on program
About: This Durham-based institute provides technology tools and training to bridge the digital divide in North Carolina. And through that mission are a series of classes, track out and summer camps for kids of all ages. Classes range from computers for beginners to game design to coders club to Internet security and privacy. And camps cover exciting topics like drone flight, game design, building a PC
Ages: typically 11-18

The Engineering Place
Where: NC State’s College of Engineering campuses
When: Weekly camps all summer long
About: Seven different camps are held by this NC State organization each summer, all with the mission of introducing young people to engineering. There are programs just for elementary students, middle schoolers, high school, high school girls, and a residential program for 11th and 12th graders. Camps are staffed by teachers, engineering students and faculty.
Ages: 3rd to 12th grade

Zaniac Parkside
Where it’s located:1206 Parkside Main St., Cary, NC, 27519
When it happens: Weekly June 19-August 25
About: The camps at Zaniac in Cary ramp up from computer programming, Minecraft, robotics, and LEGOs for K-2 to include 3D printing, app creation, coding and GarageBand for grades 3-5 and 3D game design, fashion design, Python coding and advanced electronics for grades 6-8.
Ages: K-8
Cost: $215 for half day/$399 for full day

Discovery Tech
Where: 11000 Lake Grove Boulevard, Morrisville, NC
When: camps year-round
About: With a mission to make kids lifelong learners, with technology as a tool, a variety of weeklong camps cover topics like Minecraft, video making, 3D printing and more.
Ages: preschool to 12
Cost: $165 for half days, $275 for full

Where: 6301 Hillsborough St. Raleigh, NC 27606
When: camps and programs year-round
About: SMILE stands for Science and Math Interactive Learning Experience, and this camp promises an unequaled STEAM experience. There are lots of interactive experiences due to a low kid to college/grad student ratio and a focus on experiments.
Ages: 2nd through 10th grades
Cost: $495 per week

Durham Academy Summer Programs
Where: Durham Academy, 3116 Academy Rd, Durham, NC 27707
When: Weekly June 12 – July 28
About: Durham Academy offers half-day enrichment camps that range from sports to science and technology. There are also 25 academic camps held over five weeks in the middle of the summer. Enrichment camps have fun topics like Jedi Engineering using LEGO, Secret Agent Lab, Adruino Metal Detector and Digital Media and Filmmaking.
Ages: K-12
Cost: Enrichment programs around ~$200 and academics $380

Digital Media Academy
Where: Duke University
When: Three weeks over June 12-30
About: This national organization is holding camps at Duke for the first time, with four types of camps including an adventure program for younger kids, academic camps for middle and high schoolers (covering VR and game design, electronic music production and robotics), a teen program with a dozen or so camps, and camp just for girls aged 8-17, focused on fashion design and wearable tech.
Ages: 8-17
Cost: $965 per week